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For information on Lake Michigan Fisheries contact:
Bradley Eggold

Root River Report

Steelhead at Root River

The following information is the latest fishing information for the Root River in Racine. We will post new information to this site every TUESDAY at 4:00 pm from September through December and from March through May. We will also update the number of fish processed at the Root River Steelhead Facility to give you the exact number of fish passed upstream. Depending on water conditions and number of fish in the weir, fish are usually processed on Mondays and Thursdays.

In addition, you can call our Lake Michigan Fishing Hotline at (414) 382-7920 to hear the latest fishing information for Lake Michigan and its tributaries or check out our Lake Michigan Outdoor Report

Root River Steelhead Facility

Lake Michigan trout and salmon don't successfully reproduce in Wisconsin streams, so DNR gives Mother Nature a hand. Watch fisheries crews collect eggs and milt from spawning fish to create the next generation of steelhead to challenge anglers on the big pond.

Root River Fishing Report for October 16th, 2014

The water level at the Horlick Dam increased from 2.22 feet last week to 2.73 feet on Sunday. The flow rate increased from 12 cfs to 65 cfs. The water temperature decreased from 56F to 46F. The water flowing over the Horlick Dam was almost down to a trickle on Monday after 9 days with no rain. Anglers were able to cross areas of the river and barely get their feet wet. The flow rate and water level rose quickly Monday evening as heavy rain began to fall. 1.8” of rain fell over 3 days. By Wednesday afternoon, the water level at the dam increased over 12” and large numbers of trout and salmon moved upstream from the lakefront. The water level and flow rate steadily decreased toward the weekend and by Sunday morning, anglers reported that very few fish were moving upstream. The weather forecast calls for a slight chance of light rain at the start of the week and then 6-7 days of dry and cool weather with daytime high temperatures between 51-62F.

For up to date river conditions, check out the USGS web site of stream flow conditions [exit DNR]  in Wisconsin.

Fishing Information

  • Above the weir: 461 chinook salmon, 52 coho, and 20 brown trout were released upstream from the Steelhead Facility from Oct. 10th to Oct. 13th. An additional 447 chinook were released upstream on Thursday, October 16. A large number of trout and salmon reached the Horlick Dam by Friday afternoon. 30-40 anglers fished at the dam Saturday morning and over 100 chinook were landed by 11:00 AM. According to one angler, everybody was catching fish. Black/orange, olive green, and black/red flies worked well for a few anglers. Fishing pressure at the dam increased on Sunday. The catch rate was still good but slightly lower. Large numbers of chinook salmon swam upstream through Quarry Lake Park all weekend long. Most anglers walked off the river with at least 1-2 kings on Saturday and Sunday. Fishing pressure increased in Colonial Park over the weekend as well with nearly 30 anglers in the park on Sunday. Two fly fishermen had good luck landing a 15 pound king and two 8-10 pound brown trout while casting salmon colored egg flies. Anglers had good luck landing chinook salmon above the weir in Lincoln Park earlier in the week. 3-4 kings were landed Monday afternoon by anglers casting small dry flies and bottom fishing with red play-doh.
  • Below the weir: 15-20 anglers on average fished in Lincoln Park during the week and 40-50 on the weekend. A few chinook and coho salmon were landed at the start of the week. Anglers landed mostly brown trout on the weekend. Black/red and black/orange flies worked well for 2 anglers in Lincoln Park on Sunday as they landed two 5-7 pound brown trout and an 11 pound chinook. Some nice size kings and coho were landed in Island Park on spawn sacks and skein at the start of the week. Two 18-20 pound brown trout were landed on Friday on green sucker spawn and a yarn fly. 20-25 anglers on average fished in Island Park on the weekend. At least 30 brown trout were caught in the park by 10:00 AM on Saturday. Only a few browns were caught in Island Park on Sunday as anglers reported that very few fish were moving upstream. The water in Washington Park is normally shallow at this time of year but fly fishermen wading in Washington Park this year have been waist deep in water. The deep holes and pools around the golf course don’t seem to be holding fish. 3-4 anglers landed one king Monday afternoon while fly fishing below the drainage pipe at the Cable Bridge. The drainage pipe was partially under water on Sunday.

Root River Steelhead Facility Report

DATE: October 16 2014 RIVER TEMP: 52
  Rainbow Trout Chinook Salmon Coho Salmon Brown Trout
Total Captured 5 1,583 127 97
Passed Upstream 5 1,272 127


Taken to Hatchery        
Spawned at Facility        
Egg Take


Last revised: Monday October 20 2014